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station has been a hive of activity all week; outside, the new Gayton Road car park exit is ready for use and inside the new bridge was being
finished off so that the new station can open. Well not quite finished off, the
footbridge roof won’t be added until 2016 because it is part of the main station contract.
This morning the new station opened with the regular staff in evidence alongside Network Rail staff there to see that all was running well. Although some whispered that there were teething problems, which is why it opened today and not on a Monday, as far as the public were concerned it all looked like business as usual, complete with a succession of cancelled trains and crowded platforms.
However I can see those any day of the week, the interest today was the new station, and very good it looked too. There are lots of information boards working, the photo booth is there as is the coffee shop and the cash machines are back. The only downside I can see is that the days of arriving at the very last moment, running up the slope and jumping into the last carriage are gone. There is long entrance passage and 42 wet steps (no roof) to climb and 35 back down again. Leave an extra minute or two for your journey tomorrow.
For now at least, the north side entrance remains open.
I was impressed by what I saw, it is far from being the flimsy temporary structure I once envisaged. It has everything except that I could not see where the newsagent was going to go.
If you are a railway vandal, do not even consider practicing your crimes there. It is festooned with Bosch CCTV cameras, probably the most advanced CCTV available at present. They can take colour video in the dark without the aid of infra red.
While I was lurking under a camera I was approached by a local historian also keen to witness the occasion. His grandfather had been station master at Abbey Wood almost a century ago. He said he had a photograph of him sitting on a station bench and was presented with the bench when the old station was replaced in 1987.
He has a website illustrating his researches into the history of Abbey Wood. I shall have to find the time to take a good look at it and provide a more permanent (menu) link. †
Index to past Crossrail blogs.
† Now on Main Site Menu (i.e. not Blog) under Links>Other local sites.